California Bar Journal
CBJ - August 2008 #04.
Fujie elected 3rd woman president
California Bar JournalJune 2008Fujie elected 3rd woman presidentLos Angeles lawyer Holly J. Fujie was elected the third woman president of the State Bar last month and vowed to work her colleagues harder, reach out to young lawyers and take a close look at the bar's fiscal operations. The 52-year-old shareholder in Buchalter Nemer was elected on the first ballot and will be sworn in as the bar's 84th leader Sept. 27 in Monterey. Fujie In an unprecedented election in which all three candidates were women, Fujie outpolled Dannah "Danni" Murphy, 60, an assistant public defender in Orange County, and Carmen Ramirez, 59, a longtime legal aid lawyer in Ventura.
Two other vice presidents of the board, John McNicholas of Los Angeles and James Penrod of San Francisco, did not run.
Only two other women have been elected bar president - Margaret Morrow (1993), now a federal judge in Los Angeles, and Karen Nobumoto (2001), a Los Angeles deputy district attorney. More than a dozen women have run unsuccessful campaigns since 1989.
A commercial litigator, Fujie said she was "very, very excited and very proud" to have been elected.
She grew up in a predominantly African American neighborhood in West Oakland, where she was one of a handful of Asian children. "I have experience that not that many people have," she said. Fujie recalled attending a luncheon, where she sat near the dais, and chatting afterwards with another Japanese-American, California Appellate Justice Kathryn Doi Todd, whose family was interned during World War II. "She said she was so proud of me," Fujie said. "I thought, 'if I can do that just by sitting there, what could I do to inspire people of all sorts?'"
Fujie said her greatest strength is her ability to communicate and said she will spend some of her year-long term trying to connect with California's young lawyers, who are not...